Deaf-blindness is considered as a low incidence disability, and there are only a small number of children who have this and are unable to see and/or hear. These children suffer from additional complications such as physical, mental and cognitive implications. This disability can be caused at birth or later in the childhood/adulthood stages. At birth, many cases occur due to prematurity, childbirth complications, and congenital syndromes. During childhood or adulthood, meningitis and brain injuries can cause deaf-blindness to occur later on in life.
A person who is deaf and blind will not usually be completely deaf and blind, however their reduced senses will greatly affect their day to day living. Signs of hearing loss include needing to turn up the volume on the television, having difficulty following a conversation, not hearing surrounding noises, asking others to speak loudly, and leaning in closely to listen to others. Vision problems include problems seeing in low light or bright light, difficulty recognizing people, relying on touch to identify items, and not making direct eye contact with others when communicating. If you experience any of these symptoms, see your GP for advice and for an early diagnosis.
Treatments for Hearing and Vision Loss
Treatments are available to help an individual suffering from hearing and vision loss improve their quality of life. To preserve the person’s remaining sight or hearing, treatments are available such as cataracts, glasses or hearing aids. In addition, alternative methods of communication such as hand signing and braille provide ways for the individual to communicate with others. To maintain one’s independence, a long cane, guide dog or communicator guide are available to assist them. To diagnose a person’s level of hearing and sight a specialist assessment is available and conducted by a specially trained professional. This will take into account the person’s current needs helping them to identify the deterioration of the senses early on so that appropriate action can be taken as preventative measures.
Disability Tax Credit Eligibility Criteria for Vision Impairment
To be eligible for this tax credit, a person must be unable to hear and see for over the period of one full year. They can also be eligible if they have difficulty with vision and hearing. To be eligible for the vision impairment, they must have visual acuity in both eyes of 20/200 (6/60) or less, or have the greatest diameter of the field of vision in both eyes of 20 degrees and less.
Disability Tax Credit Eligibility Criteria for Hearing Impairment
With regards to hearing, the patient must either be unable to hear, or take an inordinate amount of time (3 times longer) to hear and understand others. In addition, they must find it difficult to hear in a quiet setting even with the assistance of their hearing devices. To apply for this tax credit Form 2201 entitled “Disability Tax Credit Certificate” must be completed by a registered medical practitioner. This tax credit is only available to those who have taxes payable.
DCC can help to claim this tax credit and collect up to $40,000 in disability tax credits.